A new maneuver against the epistemic relativist

Carter, J. A. and Gordon, E. C. (2014) A new maneuver against the epistemic relativist. Synthese, 191(8), pp. 1683-1695. (doi: 10.1007/s11229-013-0357-2)

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Epistemic relativists often appeal to an epistemic incommensurability thesis. One notable example is the position advanced by Wittgenstein in On Certainty (1969). However, Ian Hacking’s radical denial of the possibility of objective epistemic reasons for belief poses, we suggest, an even more forceful challenge to mainstream meta-epistemology. Our central objective will be to develop a novel strategy for defusing Hacking’s line of argument. Specifically, we show that the epistemic incommensurability thesis can be resisted even if we grant the very insights that lead Hacking to claim that epistemic reasons are always relative to a style of reasoning. Surprisingly, the key to defusing the argument is to be found in recent mainstream work on the epistemic state of objectual understanding.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gordon, Dr Emma and Carter, Dr J Adam
Authors: Carter, J. A., and Gordon, E. C.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Synthese
Publisher:Springer Netherlands
ISSN (Online):1573-0964
Published Online:10 November 2013
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The AuthorsSpringer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
First Published:First published in Synthese 191(8):1683–1695
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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